Let’s start with the simple message of this article – the legs and feet should remain passive and quiet during our chipping technique, they act mainly in a stabilising role and should only have minimal movement.
Legs and feet play a far more active role in the full swing because of the power they are helping to generate from the ground, in some players this might even mean they jump up off the ground momentarily at some stage in the swing but in chipping the main driver of energy comes from the rotary motion of the torso and hinging of the wrist area.
There are 3 actions or habits that I would encourage golfers to change and so would suggest you have a look at your chipping technique to make sure these are not making your short game a little inefficient.
This is where a golfer has a little knee bend just before or through the impact stage of chipping. It happens with both knees and it will often lead to poor strikes and real inconsistency. Quite often it is something that golfers are unaware that it is happening but it is easy to take a video these days using a mobile phone to check on your technique (I would suggest using the slow motion option).
A drill you can try to help you focus on this area is if you get a golf ball and place it between your knees when you are practising. The objective is to keep the ball from falling out and this often gets the player to stop moving the knees. Another thing you can try is to lock the knee position altogether to begin with but this will feel a bit wooden or mechanical.
Left heel Lift (lead foot)
This is from a right handed golfer’s perspective and it is when the player lifts the left heel through the impact stage. This is an indication of poor “weight transference” through the swing and is normally associated with a “trying to lift the ball” type of action.
A drill to help identify and improve this is to get another wedge and stand on the face of the club with your left heel. This will keep the shaft off the ground, but if you let your left heel come up it will drop the shaft down to the ground. Make sure you have the club under the foot in a position that you are not going to hit it during the stroke.
Excessive Right Heel lift
The right heel can come up from the ground in chipping depending how long the swing is, it should however be the last movement in the swing sequence unlike a full swing. Excessive movement leads to instability and inconsistency and is usually an indicator that the driver or momentum is coming from the wrong place.
The drill for left heel lift can be used for the right heel and although may overdo the action to begin with it should make you aware of how much your heel is lifting and importantly when it moves.